Respite care

Respite care offers myositis caregivers a temporary rest while your loved one receives care through other means.  In-home respite care can be provided by a friend, family member or by using a paid or volunteer service. There are also care facilities, such as hospice centers (hospice services are not only for end-of-life caring), nursing homes and adult day care facilities.

Hospice and nursing home facilities may provide you with the option of overnight stays or stays that can last days at a time, although cost can be a concern. Be sure to look into insurance coverage, scholarships and governmental sliding scale fee programs along with organizations specific to the illness you manage.

Benefits of Respite Care for caregivers:

  • Provides you with “time off,” even for a few hours or days at a time
  • Offers the opportunity to take a vacation or day trip
  • Helps prevent social isolation
  • Allows time away from the caregiving situation, which may afford you the ability to see things more clearly upon your return and make adjustments which can be made in your routine
  • Supports your physical and emotional health by reducing stress, restoring energy and promoting balance in your life which all help to boost your immune system

Benefits of Respite Care for your loved one provides them:

  • Opportunity for social interaction with new people with like abilities
  • Participation in care-facility activities such as art or music therapy
  • A new setting while being cared for by skilled caregivers
  • A breath of fresh air – Your loved one most likely wants you to take some time off

You may be apprehensive to use respite care services due to feelings of guilt, however your loved one will hopefully understand and will most likely enjoy the new, temporary setting. You may also be worried about the level of care your loved one will receive, but realize that at residential facilities, the staff are skilled, trained professionals. You may wish to schedule a time to visit a care facility to see firsthand how the staff interacts with the patients to give you peace of mind, as well as to help you choose the right place for your loved one.

Here’s a thought: Consider trading respite services with other caregivers and their families. Pooling resources with others in the same situation can encourage greater involvement, reduce costs and increase flexibility.

Have you used respite care services, and if so, how was the experience for you and your loved one?

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Myositis Support and Understanding Association (MSU) is a patient-centered, all-volunteer 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization Empowering the Myositis Community. Founded by Myositis patients, for Myositis patients, MSU provides education, support, advocacy, access to research and clinical trial matching, and need-based financial assistance.

View more information: Myositis Support

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